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just as an FYI 36 caliber is in reality 375 diameter.
 
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.357, surely?
Nope, 375. In American parlance, a .357 is a .38.

We can really blame the British on all that, though. Some British guild determined that all handgun calibers have a two digit and a three digit designation. The two digit would be based off the first and third digit. This lasted until Britain went "American" caliber-wise as far as naming conventions, and adopted the 38 S&W (with a .361 bullet) and went around calling it a .380.

Long story short, .357 is 37, and is rounded to the next even number. .375 is .35, and was rounded to the next even number.

In America, we had marketing guys who really screwed everything up and just started naming calibers willy-nilly for whatever sounded best. It is how the same diameter bullet can be anything from a .38 to a .41, and how there are ".30" caliber rifle rounds that range from .27 caliber to darn-near 38.
 

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Anyone who collects the Colt Perc revolvers is familiar with the caliber stamp. This is an original Colt note the caliber stamp on the frame.
View attachment 162884
The ones that really get me are the ones where it is just a number, with no "cal" after it. You find a lot of model 3 1851s like that, and a ton of 1860 and 1861s. Some of the Colts sent to Prussia and Bavaria even have marks for bore diameter, rather than caliber.

The ones I can't figure out are the ones that show up with a letter there. I have seen a stylized "N", "S", "L" and an "X".
 
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